Lately, I’ve been thinking about the huge difference that there’s between being a rebel and an open-minded person. To be a rebel is to be against everything that has been stablished either as a key rule or as a preset thought. To be a rebel is to be a teenager challenging the world and showing to the entire population that you’re against Irak’s war or wearing earrings.
But to be an open-minded person is such a different thing. It depends on your capability of reflexion, is to be aware about what’s going on around you but also take part of the things that happens around you. The collective consciousness takes part on your life and you need it in order to feel yourself connected to the world. To be an open-minded person also means to be aware that everything is able to change. And I’m not just talking about the world, I’m also talking about yourself: your political views, your thoughts or even your religious position. And here’s the main difference between rebellion and open-mindedness. The rebel is not able to change himself, he just carries on changing the world, the society, perhaps the trends; but the open-minded is, in some way, opened to a new world and the first who is going to change is himself.
In addition, as long as rebel people is growing up, some of those rebel teenagers realize that they need to go one step ahead, and all those adolescence myths just blows up in their faces. It’s like after reading books from Paul Auster: The first one you read is like the best thing you’ve read in your entire life, the second one makes Auster the best writer of the history, the third one just disappoints you because you realize that always is the same thing and Auster just have a good book repeated among the time. The same thing happens with your thoughts and ideas, some day you find out all those things just too small for you. Then, comes the shame.
This is a very common issue in conversations between young people. The shame they feel about their past. “I used to wear like a punk, all black dressed”, “I used to wear all leather” or “I used to be so posh, now look at me”. We feel embarrassed about our past, about have belonged to a political party or religious association, about that horrible haircut we used to have and so on. I usually talk about the shame I feel about my teenager me. I’ve passed through all the styles, joined lots of causes that now doesn’t interest me or even worse, I disagree. But, in my opinion, all those things about our past that now we avoid to tell to the people (despite by then we were so proud of our thoughts or our look) are absolutely necessary in order to set up our mind once we overcome the adolescence. What I am trying to say is nothing further than if you’re an open-minded person, you had been a rebel before and, indeed, by this time to be an open-minded person, in the way you are aware that you are sensitive to change and you think that changes are positive, means the hugest act of rebellion that someone can commit.